From world-class wineries to Alfred Hitchcock and Charlie Brown, the Northern California towns of Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Bodega Bay, Healdsburg, and Petaluma are like no other, each with their own personality and character. Below are my top 5 Best Instagramable spots of Sonoma County Calfornia and some travel tips and hot spots too.
15 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles from San Francisco is the quaint town of Sebastopol. You will find several antique shops, art galleries, artisan restaurants and bakeries in Sebastopol. Tourists flock to this little gem of a town and the atmosphere is very laid back and unpretentious. Locals that live in Sebastopol know they are blessed and are as friendly as can be. Florence Avenue is a cute section with cottages and lots of neat sculptures that decorate the yards known as junk art and I will do a post about that soon. But I want to share these two super cute blue walls located at the intersection of Bodega Ave. and Edman Way. The wall with the bees and the wall with the colorful pipes are Instagram perfect!! Shops and restaurants are very close by and there are those fabulous junk art sculptures all over making for even more Instagram pic goodness.
Sebastopol also has the campus of a tech and learning company O’Reilly Media that has gardens and grounds open to the community. You can drive up and take a lovely nature walk and snap Instragramable pics on your adventure. There is a new trendy section in Sebastopol called The Barlow and there are some cool metal corrugated walls, lots of artisan restaurants, shops, and communal areas that make for great Instagramable pics. Have your breakfast, lunch or dinner while you explore. Also the super neat old Purina factory and feed store is across the street and has some a mural and lots of country charm that would be great for Instagram pics.
Santa Rosa is home to Snoopy and Charlie Brown as creator Charles M. Schulz lived here. You will see many gorgeous vineyards and wineries, resorts, and there is also the Russian River. All over downtown Santa Rosa you will see figures of the Peanuts gang (Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and their pals) and those always make for great Instagram photos. The Astro Motel is newly revitalized original 1960s motel with lots of Mid-Century Modern charm and style and a great stop for out-of-this-world Instagram pictures. Whistle Stop Antiques in downtown Santa Rosa by railroad square is also a great spot for snapping your Instagram pics as there is a huge train wall mural as well as lots of shops and restaurants and things to see and do.
Bodega Bay is located not too far of a drive from Santa Rosa and Sebastopol and is perfect for a day trip. Take in the incredible views of the coast, beaches and cliffs, also great hotels and dining if you want to stay longer. You can also camp out at Bodega Bay and go fishing, hiking, boating and enjoy the town with antique shops, cute salt water taffy shops and fish & chips restaurants. Bodega Bay was the setting for the famous 1963 Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds starring Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor and Suzanne Pleshette. You can visit The Potter School and St. Theresa’s Church are from the movie and perfect for Instagramable pics your followers will be thrilled to see.
Petaluma is such a great walking town with a lovely waterfront, upscale shops, lots of bars and restaurants, and beautiful architecture. There is also a lovely historic library and museum to tour. Petaluma also has a ton of events like the twice yearly antique fair that takes up several downtown blocks and the Crusin’ The Blvd. Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti classic car show where stars from the original movie come out to greet fans and you can see some of the cars from the movie like the T-Bird that Suzanne Summers drove, blue Citroen 2CV that Richard Dreyfus was in, the 1958 Chevy Impala drive by Ron Howard, and the Vespa that Charles Martin Smith rode.
Aside from the fabulous shopping, eating and events that take place in Petaluma, there is this amazing brick wall!! Opening pics to this post. This brick wall has a painted mural that changes regularly. I loved the mural for Valentines Day and this fun one for Butter and Eggs Day as well as the magical Unicorn. The location is a little Mail Depot at 40 Fourth Street across the street from a super duper fabulous fish & chips restaurant Fourth & Sea. Their brick wall is very Instragramable and you will love it!!
Healdsburg is a very trendy upscale town about 20mins from Santa Rosa. You will find some of the most prestigious wineries, restaurants and hotels in Healdsburg. If you want to people watch then this is the town for you. The main part of the downtown is a square with lots of pretty buildings, shops and a lovely little park in the center with giant gazebo. Special events are held in this park and little antique shows too. Healdsburg is very trendy and tourists from all over flock here. You will also see some of the most sought after pricey cars! You will find tasting room upon tasting room so if wine is your thing you can bet you will enjoy yourself!! Lots of benches surround the square so you can find a spot to relax and this is a dog friendly town and it is so fun to see the well groomed dogs trot on by with their fashionable owners.
Lovely turn-of-the-century homes can be found on the outside of the square. The beautiful Victorian homes and cottages are definitely Instagram worthy. You will find some fabulous walls too that are all glass brick or Mid-Century style mosaic and those are pretty fun too for taking Instagram worthy pictures.
Hope my little post of the 5 Best Instagramable Spots in Sonoma County California is helpful as you plan your visit to glorious wine country!!
All pics of me by my sweet hubby Gary Greco